Southern Cal Expelling Families

APRIL 7, 2011


Using data from the 2010 U.S. Census, analysis from various think tanks will be trickling out. One of the most revealing just was released by the Brookings Institution on America’s child population (boldface in original):

New minorities—Hispanics, Asians, and other groups apart from whites, blacks, and American Indians—account for all of the growth among the nation’s child population. From 2000 to 2010, the population of white children nationwide declined by 4.3 million, while the population of Hispanic and Asian children grew by 5.5 million.

No surprise there. But here’s the key sentence in the study:

Los Angeles was the only major metropolitan area to witness a decline in Hispanic children from 2000 to 2010.

According to Brookings author William H. Frey, “It’s no longer white flight; it’s middle-class flight.”

Beginning around 1990, whites and blacks began leaving California in greater numbers than those in which they migrated here from other states in America. That’s a major reason for the declining numbers and fortunes of the state’s Republican Party, which is predominantly white.

Thomas Sowell, of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, wrote just last week:

Both whites and blacks are leaving California, the poster state for the liberal, welfare-state and nanny-state philosophy.

Although California has long been a prime destination of Asian immigrants and the homes of their descendants, the 2010 census shows a striking increase in the Asian American population of Nevada, more so than any other state. Nevada is adjacent to California but has no income tax nor the hostile climate for business that California maintains.

Now, the Brookings data show, Hispanics are leaving California too — especially those in the middle class.

California Costs Too Much

Why would the middle classes of all races, creeds and colors leave this paradise? Because they can’t afford it. Some reasons:

* High taxes. Just by moving to Texas, Nevada or Washington state, a family can avoid paying California’s income tax. The top income tax rate here is 10.33 percent for millionaires. But the real gouger is the 9.33 percent income tax rate on the middle class, beginning at about $55,000 of income.

Dot-com billionaires in Silicon Valley can hire tax attorneys to finagle ways out of paying high taxes. The middle class cannot.

* Taxes could go yet higher. Not content with driving out the middle-class of all races, new Gov. Jerry Brown, the Democratic Legislature and public-employee unions have spent the past 100 days obsessed with raising taxes even higher. So far, they have failed. But one area in which California remains No. 1 is its government’s ability to come up with creative ways to grab the taxpayers’ money.

* High housing costs. As recently as 1998, just 13 years ago, a median-priced home in Orange County cost about $180,000. Today the median price is $425,000. And that’s after the housing crash of recent years, including a 5 percent decline in the past year.

Housing costs are high for a number of reasons: Severe restrictions on development along the coast, as imposed by the California Coastal Commission. And ridiculous regulations, such as SB 375, that restrict housing growth to force on Californians Soviet-style “smart growth.”

* Bad schools. Some school systems in California, such as that in Irvine, are excellent. Others are atrocious. In Los Angeles, only half of students graduate high school. Overall, California ranks 49th of the 50 states on student test scores.

* Punishing regulatory environment. AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, is just one among hundreds of bills and thousands of regulations that make operating a business in California a minefield for which there is no mine detector.

* One-party politics. Republicans in California have been a pretty pathetic lot, as we have detailed here on in many articles. But at least they once provided some semblance of resistance to the control of the state by the axis of Democratic Party-public employee unions. But now, Republicans are about as relevant as the Prohibition Party.

And as I was the first to note last year, the demographic changes soon will give Democrats two-thirds majorities in both houses of the Legislature, allowing them to increase taxes without any votes of Republicans at all.

Bleak Future for Families

Families, naturally, look to the future different from single folk. Parents are concerned about the tax levels, schools and regulatory climate where they will be raising their kids. California’s balmy weather certainly is nice. But it’s actually farther down the list than many think.

After all, does anybody really enjoy those endless muggy months of East Texas? Yet it increasingly is the destination of new jobs creation, and of California exiles.

A group of California lawmakers next week will travel to Texas to discover why so many jobs are created there. They should save their effort. The reason is that Texas has the opposite of the detriments of California listed above. Texas has no state income tax, reasonable business regulation, low-cost housing and better schools.

In a phrase: Texas is pro-family, while California is anti-family. And there’s no sign that that will change at any time in the near future.


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  1. Chucksters
    Chucksters 7 April, 2011, 17:28

    If you are considering coming to Texas, either leave your liberal politics in CA or don’t come here. We don’t need any more demo/commie/crats.

    Reply this comment
  2. MaryKay
    MaryKay 7 April, 2011, 21:11

    Go TEXAS!

    Reply this comment
  3. David from Oceanside
    David from Oceanside 8 April, 2011, 05:57

    There trend in CA will continue to decline until those on the right and Libertarians have given up all hope and most on the left are disillusioned. Just like in stocks, that will be the indication that CA is a buy. Until then CA remains a sell.

    As distasteful as is the thought, Democrats must gain 2/3 and greater power in order for this to happen. Although I disrespect the Republicans, they are often “less worse” than the alternative.

    Reply this comment
  4. drake
    drake 8 April, 2011, 07:52

    seems “less worse” is always on the ballot.

    Reply this comment
  5. David in Irvine
    David in Irvine 8 April, 2011, 10:34

    As witnessed by the large and thriving middle class populations of medieval Europe, we know that strong governments are the key to middle class prosperity. The growth of market-based capitalism, entrepreneurship and free trade destroyed Europe’s middle class, and they emigrated to America where the highly regulated bureacratic welfare state again allowed them to prosper. Among other things, California’s problem is that we are not attracting the immigration of enough 50-yr old professional firefighters who can move in and begin collecting generous retirement benefits to maintan our economy and standard of living.

    Reply this comment
  6. David from Oceanside
    David from Oceanside 8 April, 2011, 13:27

    I nominate David in Irvine for comment of the month.

    “Among other things, California’s problem is that we are not attracting the immigration of enough 50-yr old professional firefighters who can move in and begin collecting generous retirement benefits to maintan our economy and standard of living.”

    Almost fell off my chair laughing.

    Reply this comment
  7. The City On a Shining Hill
    The City On a Shining Hill 10 April, 2011, 20:39

    Well, the Gipper is certainly turning over in his grave right now, and definitely not approving of what has happened to the once prosperous state he successfully lead as governor some time back.

    Gold will lose its luster over time, especially if the gold is not refined in the fire.

    Perhaps what is needed to bring back the luster of the once shining Golden State is for government that is opposite to the one that Reagan lead goes through the fire of having voters expel those who are bringing economic ruin, and replace them with conservatives who will reinstate small, accountable government with free market principles again and end the job killing state income tax, for starters.

    But, like Greece, Cuba, Portugal, Ireland, etc. which rely on ever increasing taxes and lead by strong unions, that change will come hard. Socialism always bankrupts nations, and impoverishes its citizens, though well intentioned to take from the wealthy and give to the poor.

    But, being on the dole for life using everyone’s taxes sure has appeal!

    Yes, as the Gipper knows, change will certainly come hard!

    Reply this comment
  8. RObert
    RObert 14 April, 2011, 08:24

    GEt used to it. Goc. Wkr layoffs will nail housing and malls and restaurants. But the pensions and unions will srill be with us…

    Reply this comment
  9. RObert
    RObert 14 April, 2011, 08:26

    GEt used to it. Goc. Wkr layoffs will nail housing and malls and restaurants. But the pensions and unions will still be with us.

    Reply this comment
  10. David
    David 15 April, 2011, 11:01

    My wife and I are engineers. We used to live in California but got tired of paying $1000/month in state income taxes. Moved to Texas. Improved our standard of living. Good move. So, if you are a taxpayer and want to improve your life, come to Texas. If you are a tax consumer, stay in California. California has better benefits for non-taxpayers.

    Reply this comment
  11. cynthia curran
    cynthia curran 7 October, 2012, 10:49

    That’s idotic, the incomes of the middle ages were lower than at the age of the 19th century in the US, England and Germany. Daivd high school and college teachers give him a very poor education. And the economy of the late middle ages was probably less government than the US today, hardly a welfare state and Venice dominated the old Byzantine empire is it was not regualted the way that Daivd thinks.

    Reply this comment
  12. cynthia curran
    cynthia curran 7 October, 2012, 10:54

    Knew plenty of commies in Austin less in Orange County Ca even if you include David. Lydon Johnson came from Austin and he was from Texas and increase the welfare state more than any other president. Texas is lucky the whites in the suburbs are able to cancel the more liberal votes in the large cities like Austin, Dallas and Houston. Dallas and Houstont are terrible cities since they are mainly hispanic and black. The burbs are not bad.

    Reply this comment

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